The newborn days are filled with joy, exhaustion and a lot of waste. Yes, waste!
From packaged items to using more energy in your home from daily chores, a new baby can welcome a lot more than just extra work.
Expanding your family may not just have you thinking of saving more time and money, but it may also have you reflecting on your child’s future and its over-all wellness.
As parents, we absolutely want the best for our children. That often means we would like the world that they grow up on to be just as healthy and happy as they are.
Here, we have listed ten easy ways to encourage new eco-friendly habits to incorporate with a new baby. From feedings to diaper changes, the small steps can go a long way.
10 CLOTH DIAPERS
For some: this is a no-brainer. For others, the idea of a cloth diaper is just (simply) yucky!
From diaper services to personally hand-washing, the process of using cloth diapers gets easier to maintain as you go.
New born babies go through about 10-30 diapers in a 24hr period. Yes, this number fluctuates and can actually be more than that estimated number.
New borns feed quite frequently, sleep nearly all day, and rid their bodies of waste so often that the amount of diapers you dispose can cause quite the amount of garbage.
Whether the city you reside in composes diapers or not, a cloth diaper is a great start to being more environmentally friendly with a new born.
9 USED CLOTHING
If this is your first child, you will be absolutely beside yourself when you see how quickly they grow.
Forget buying them new, little outfits. You may be surprised how big they are when they're delivered; unable to fit into that size NB onesie you so desperately needed to purchase...
Not only buying used clothing will save you money, it will save water waste from producing new garments in the first place.
Buying used and/or vintage does not have to be only for yourself. Children grow so frequently that often used, baby clothing is rarely stained and/or worn.
8 BREASTFEED IF POSSIBLE
If your breastfeeding plan did not go as expected, do not fret. You need to feed your baby either way and many do not even know the pain/exhaustion and/or struggle that come along with breastfeeding your baby.
If you do decide to follow through with breastfeeding, you will be able to save the cost of manufacturing formula. Not only will it save environmental costs in production, transportation and packaging, but by breastfeeding you will not have to contribute to the fuel it takes to drive to actually buy the formula.
Every little thing counts. And, if you are already breastfeeding, you're taking one extra step into making the world a little more healthier.
If you are not breastfeeding, we have many other simple steps to ensure you're lowering your carbon footprint as a new parent. (No Mom Guilt allowed!) So, continue to read for some extra inspiration.
Here's the thing: we know how busy you are (or will become). We also know the amount of laundry you are about to experience with a new baby.
From sheets, to receiving blankets, to onesies to the cloth diapers you've now switched to- the laundry seems to be never-ending.
You will likely already have to schedule out a time during the week (or day) strictly slotted for your laundry duties.
If you can arrange an area (outside or inside for hang-drying that laundry), you will save a lot of energy and money instead of throwing your wet laundry in the dryer.
Like a fresh, outside scent? You'll thank us later when you change your baby back into a clean, dry onesie.
6 BATHE EXCLUSIVELY IN SINK
The average circumference of a bathtub is quite a lot (around 5 feet). Even while bathing a new born, you're likely to fill your said bathtub well enough to waste water on the daily.
Most parent's bed-time routine include a ritual, along with a night bath to calm the infant. Whether you use soap or not, baths are great way to settle the baby down and signal that it's time for sleep.
A great way to save time, money and lower your contribution of water-waste is by encouraging sink baths.
Simply fill your kitchen sink; they tend to be a great size for little, baby bodies.
5 HOMEMADE WIPES
The amount of brands that produce baby wipes is unfathomable. From differing scents to sizes, the option to purchase in bulk or separately also contribute to the waste that we (as parents) can encourage manufactures to produce.
An incredibly simple way to save the environment is by making your own:
Take two dozen, soft wash clothes. Layer them in a deep, re-usable dish. Fill with water along with a small amount of fragrance-free baby soap. (When a package reads "Unscented" this means they are using more chemicals to mask the scent. Buy "Fragrance-Free", instead).
You now have handmade baby-wipes to ensure you are no longer purchasing plastic containers filled with wipes that go straight into the trash.
4 RE-USABLE BREASTPADS
Sometimes, breasts can begin to leak before the baby's arrival.
Disposable pads are cost-efficient in the short-term, but investing in a pack of reusable pads will go a long way.
They tend to be just as absorbent and you do not need to toss them once full.
Re-usable breast pads are a great addition to your daily eco-friendly lifestyle as a new parent.
And don't forget to hang dry!
Many newborns do not like being away from the parent. When placed in the bassinet that you've purchased along with your new stroller, many times these additions go un-used because their baby simply will not settle.
Most parents resort to baby-wearing.
This is a great way to avoid the purchase and production of a big, bulky stroller.
There are thousands of stroller brands on the market, many that are not used well into their child's toddler-stage.
Baby wearing is not only a more environmentally friendly option in the first few months of your baby's life, but it will also build great bonding between baby and parent/guardian.
2 STROLL WHEN YOU CAN
If baby-wearing is not something you or your child is interested in, a stroller can be a good choice to avoid cars and public transportation emmissions.
Walking will not only provide exercise for the parent, but will allow the young child to get some much needed, fresh air.
Walking relieves stress, anxiety and depression. It aids in an overall good healthy lifestyle for both parent and child.
Many parents tend to walk during the baby's nap time; this way it becomes routine for the parent and child. It's a great way to work out while taking a break from the damage that gas and diesel cars provide.
1 BUY BULK APOTHECARY
It is so easy with online shopping and perfectly curated baby stores to purchase that amazingly merchandized, and new, baby shampoo.
You see that social media marketed new baby brand? Oh, you must try that organic, natural lotion, too!
Though most new parents put a lot of care and emphasis on what is inside of their baby's product (which is, of course, incredibly important), we don't tend to consider what's outside of it.
Some stores are now offering bulk, apothecary options.
Rather than purchasing a small container each time you need a re-up, you should purchase liquid soaps/shampoos/lotions in bulk to avoid packaging when you can.